Lack of accuracy of continuous glucose sensors in healthy, nondiabetic children: results of the Diabetes Research in Children Network (DirecNet) accuracy study

J Pediatr. 2004 Jun;144(6):770-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2004.03.042.


Objective: The workup of hypoglycemia requires frequent glucose sampling. We designed these studies to determine if the Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS) and the GlucoWatch G2 Biographer (GW2B) are sufficiently accurate to use in nondiabetic children. Study design Fifteen healthy children (aged 9-17 years, 11 boys) wore a GW2B and a CGMS during a 24-hour period, and reference serum glucose was measured hourly during the day and half-hourly overnight.

Results: Compared with the reference glucose, the median absolute difference in concentrations measured by the GW2B (487 pairs) was 13 mg/dL, and the difference measured by the CGMS was 17 mg/dL (668 pairs), with 30% and 42% of values using the GW2B and CGMS, respectively, deviating >20 mg/dL from the reference value. The GW2B reported values <60 mg/dL in 73% of subjects, the CGMS in 60% of subjects. In none of these episodes was serum glucose truly low. Spurious high glucose concentrations also were observed with the sensors. The mean reference glucose was lowest at 5 am (89 mg/dL) and highest at 11:30 pm (106 mg/dL) during the 24-hour period.

Conclusions: Neither the CGMS nor the GW2B is accurate enough to establish population standards of the glycemic profile of healthy children and cannot be recommended in the workup of hypoglycemia in nondiabetic youth.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Child
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Endocrine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Blood Glucose